8 November 1914 : Sgt Martin Brennan

Martin Brennan was born in Burnley in 1879

Martin was the son of Martin and Elizabeth Brennan - he came from a large family. 

Age 17 months in 1881 the infant Martin lived with his Irish born father Martin, his mother Elizabeth ‘May’ and grandmother, two older children aunt and no fewer than five lodgers. All the adults worked in the woollen industry.

Age 11 in 1891 Martin lived with his parents at 21 Ashworth Street, Burnley and seven siblings and a lodger.

Martin originally enlisted into the East Lancs in February 1898.

The location of Ardwick Street, Burnley in the north west of England (cc OpenStreetMap)

At the time of is re-enlisted in August 1914 he lived at 105 Ardwick Street, Burnley with his own family of six.

An Artillery observation and sniping post at Le Gheer, just east of Ploegsteert, only 25 yards from the enemy's lines, October 1914. © IWM Q 56723

Proceeding to France with his battalion on 22 August 1914, he was killed in action near the ‘kink' at Le Gheer whilst repulsing a strong German attack. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium. He was 35 years of age.

At least three of his brothers served, Michael, James and Thomas. James served with the East Lancs in Mesopotamia, where he died in September 1916. 

5328 L/Sgt Martin Brennan, 1st Bn East Lancashire Regiment.

Above: the Pension Card for Martin Brennan. Note the discrepancy in the regimental number

8 November 1914

Research by David O'Mara

Sources: England & Wales, Civil Registration and Birth Index;  Army Register of Soldier's Effects; England Census 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911. Pension Ledgers and Cards from The Western Front Association digital archive on Fold3 by Ancestry.